J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2009;138:1257-1261
© 2009 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery
Highlights of the 2009 Society of Vascular Surgery annual meeting
Michael Belkin, MD*
Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass
* Address for reprints: Michael Belkin, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. (Email: email@example.com).
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The annual meeting for the Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS) took place June 11 to 14, 2009, in Denver, Colorado. A highlight of the meeting was the presidential address of G. Patrick Clagett, who raised the question: "Does Vascular Surgery Cost Too Much?" He reviewed the staggering cost of healthcare in our country and stressed that the rate of growth in healthcare expenditures is not sustainable and that the huge disparity in healthcare spending among a variety of industrialized nations has not translated into better healthcare outcomes. Dr Clagett described the unusual paradox that higher healthcare spending has often been associated with lower quality of care and slightly worse outcomes. He went on to say that a significant proportion of President Obama's $1.1 billion economic stimulus package has gone to the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Department of Health and Human Services, specifically for comparative effectiveness research (CER). Although not specifically stated, CER will have clear economic implications, and it is hoped that these programs will reduce variation in practice and save money. Dr Clagett stressed that the SVS has been active in CER through its Practice Guidelines and Reporting Standards Committees. The SVS Vascular Registry has also been an important contribution. Finally, Dr Clagett charged the members of the SVS to be more actively involved in CER. He cited that of all specialty groups managing peripheral vascular disease, we are the most unbiased because we are able to offer all treatment modalities, and are thus best positioned to offer high-quality CER. He concluded by stating, "Finally, these mandates are clearly spelled out in our mission statement. Integrity is our middle name. This is the right thing to do for our membership, for our patients, and for the public."
K. Wayne Johnston, MD, from . . . [Full Text of this Article]
Copyright © 2009 by The American Association for Thoracic Surgery.